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Wu-Tang Clan’s Secret, Single-Copy Album Sells For Millions at Auction

Legendary rap group’s experiment pays off huge at online auction house Paddle8

New details have emerged from the sale of a secret, single-copy new album by rap crew Wu-Tang Clan — specifically that the American who nabbed the item at auction paid well into seven figures for the rare find.

Online auctioneer Paddle8 announced in March they would sell the 31-track “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” featuring Wu-Tang stars like RZA and GZA. The company now confirms the double-disc effort, encased in a silver-and-nickel-plated box, has fetched top dollar.

The album sold to a “private American collector” for a sum “in the millions,” a statement said. While the sale closed in May, months were spent negotiating contracts for the music with its new owner — suggesting her or she does not have permission to release it to the public.

Reps for Paddle8 were not immediately available for comment, but RZA said in a previous interview the work would have an 88-year hold on release for wide distribution.

The record features a vocal appearance from Cher, according to the LA Times, and is accompanied by a 174-page program of credits, lyrics and extras.

“This marks an exciting new model of distribution for the music world and we look forward to playing an ongoing role in this innovative model,” Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes told Forbes.

Earlier this year, RZA said that “for art to change the way people think, it has to come from an extreme place. No monumental change ever started with a compromise or a small shift. It starts extreme.”

Wu-Tang was founded in the early ’90s in Staten Island, and consisted then of notable members like Method Man, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah.